MechWarrior Online (2013)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


MechWarrior Online is a tactical online shooter that challenges players to strategic battles in the BattleTech Universe. As a MechWarrior, you’ll pilot BattleMechs in team-based fights, with a focus on customization, strategy, and real-time action.


Enter the battlefield of the 31st century in MechWarrior Online, a tactical online shooter set in the expansive BattleTech Universe. As an elite MechWarrior, you’ll pilot powerful BattleMechs in strategic battles for control over the galaxy.


MechWarrior Online, a free-to-play vehicle simulation video game, was officially launched in September 2013 by Piranha Games for Microsoft Windows. The game is set within the larger BattleTech universe, a rich and expansive setting that has been the backdrop for numerous games and novels.

In MechWarrior Online, players control large bipedal combat vehicles known as BattleMechs. These machines, often simply referred to as ‘Mechs, are the kings of the battlefield, towering over traditional tanks and infantry. Each ‘Mech can be customized with a variety of weapons and equipment, allowing players to tailor their machine to their preferred style of play.

The game features a variety of gameplay modes, including deathmatch, King of the Hill, and Conquest mode. In deathmatch, teams of players fight to the death, with the last team standing declared the winner. King of the Hill involves teams fighting to control a single point on the map, while Conquest mode tasks each team with securing and holding locations around the map.

One of the unique features of MechWarrior Online is its faction warfare system. Players can align themselves with various factions from the BattleTech universe and fight to secure control of planets on behalf of their chosen faction. This adds an extra layer of strategy to the game, as players must not only consider their individual performance in battles but also the wider war effort.

The development of MechWarrior Online was a collaborative effort between Piranha Games and Smith & Tinker. The latter company was founded by Jordan Weisman, co-creator of BattleTech and co-founder of FASA. Weisman had negotiated the BattleTech/MechWarrior license back from Microsoft, which had left the property sit idle for several years.

Russ Bullock from Piranha Games, a long-time fan of the series, wanted to start a joint collaboration with Weisman. The two studios began discussing the project in October 2008 and started developing a prototype for the new MechWarrior game. The game was initially titled MechWarrior: 3015 and was set on the planet Deshler in the year 3015.

The premise of MechWarrior: 3015 was that players would take on the role of Adrian Khol, a wayward nobleman who prefers partying and shirking responsibility over his training and studies. However, when House Kurita launches a massive invasion to conquer Deshler, resulting in the death of his entire family, Khol discovers a purpose to fight for.

MechWarrior Online is a testament to the enduring appeal of the BattleTech universe and the giant ‘Mechs that inhabit it. With its strategic, team-based gameplay and deep customization options, it offers a unique and engaging experience for players. Whether you’re a veteran MechWarrior pilot or a newcomer to the series, MechWarrior Online has something to offer you.


The game primarily focuses on the players themselves as MechWarriors. While specific characters are not the focus, the pilots are distinguished by their skills, chosen BattleMechs, and roles in combat, such as scouts, assault pilots, or support.


Gameplay in MechWarrior Online is a blend of real-time action and strategy. Players must navigate their Mech through complex battlefields, using terrain to their advantage. Combat requires careful heat management, weapon selection, and armor integrity monitoring. Players can customize their Mechs with different weapons, armor types, and cosmetic items to both improve their combat effectiveness and personalize their appearance.


MechWarrior Online offers a complex and rewarding experience for fans of the BattleTech universe and tactical shooter enthusiasts. Despite its flaws, the game’s depth in customization, strategy, and real-time combat make it a worthy addition to the MechWarrior series.

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